Manufacturers make laminate countertops from plastics and resins to form an inexpensive countertop material. Some laminate countertops have the color permeating throughout the thickness of the sheet, while other have a surface only color. Surface only colors show nicks, chips, scratches and knife cuts more easily that solid color countertops. Laminate countertops are commonly used in kitchens and bathrooms. They are an economical choice, but don't stand up as well as other countertop surfaces such as granite or solid surfacing material. Laminate countertops can chip, crack and incur other types of damage on both the surface and the ends typically from an impact. Dropping a heavy pot or pan on the end of the countertop can cause the end to chip or a large section may break off entirely. When a piece of the edging breaks off, it looks terrible and ruins the entire look of the room. Always repair any damage as soon as possible to avoid further damage to the substrate especially from water which can cause lifting and cracking.
Hopefully you have some of the laminate from when the countertop was installed. If you don't, you can buy a coordinating color or pattern and replace all of the countertop edging. If you have a solid color countertop top, consider buying a pattern or coordinating color to form the end.
Removing the Damaged Laminate Edge
Place a metal straight edge just beyond the damaged area and hold it firmly in place.
Use a utility knife to cut a straight line to even off the broken or damaged edging.
If you are installing a new edge, use a metal putty knife to remove all of the edging from the countertop. Hold the putty knife at a 45° angle and lightly tap it with a hammer to free stubborn areas.
Scrape the old adhesive off the end with a metal putty knife or scrub t away with steel wool.
Lightly sand the edge with 120-grit sandpaper to rough it up a bit. New laminate will adhere more firmly to a rough surface rather a smooth surface.
Wipe the edge with a tack rag to remove all sanding dust and debris.
Making a Laminate Patch
Lay a piece of paper over the damaged section.
Trace the damage onto the paper with a pencil to form template.
Cut along the lines of the template with scissors.
Place the template on the new piece of laminate and trace around the template to create a tight fitting patch.
Cut the patch out of the laminate with a utility knife.
If you are replacing the entire edge, cut enough pieces of laminate to fit all of the countertop edges.
Repairing the Countertop Edge
Apply a coat of laminate adhesive to the countertop edge with a small brush.
Wait a few minutes for the adhesive to set and dry slightly. Do not allow it to dry to more than a tacky feel.
Place the laminate patch onto the edge and press it firmly in place with your hand. If you are replacing the entire edge, place each piece on and firmly press into place.
Roll a hard roller over the edge to gain good adhesion and a tight fit.
Allow the adhesive to dry completely.
Finishing the Countertop Edge
Use a file to smooth down sharp edges from above, below and at the corners. Hold the file at a 45° angle to the countertop. File in smooth, light strokes to avoid taking too much off of the edge.
Use a laminate seam filler to seal all seams and disguise them.
If you patch a smaller area rather than the whole edge, the seam will be barely visible.